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The Job of a Leader
Transforming an Organisation
Not everyone can or should want to be a Leader. Ambition helps, but not on its own; self-confidence is vital, but too much will land you in trouble. Determination is an asset, but sometimes Leaders must achieve rather than be determined. Leaders tend to be handed the most difficult tasks, usually when management fails. Investors, Owners, and Stakeholders seek a Leader when they need a sea change in their organisations' fortune. Leadership is primarily about getting things done; transforming requires lots of doing!
Leaders do many fantastic, exciting, exhilarating, stimulating things and are financially worth their while. On the other hand, they often have to do things that are not easy, exciting, and sometimes downright difficult! For example, working long hours (try 24/7), making personal sacrifices of your time, taking the rap when things go wrong, and giving others credit when they go right. Leaders make tough decisions designed to transform organisations. Often these decisions adversely impact the lives of honest, good, hard-working people. So, Leadership is not for everyone. Indeed, it is only for the few by its very nature.
So, as a Leader, you might be expected to steer, cajole and drive your organisation out of chaos towards a calmer, more stable environment. Something that requires that you work with determination, foresight and humility. Leaders take on tasks that others may refuse or are incapable of doing —for example, firing people you like or spending long periods away from your family and friends, prepared to be unpopular, not because you want to, but because that may be the result.
Leaders also guide and encourage people to retrain and learn new skills before too late for them and the organisation. You know how the future is about skill levels, knowledge and speed and the importance of support amongst family, friends and work colleagues. Above all, Leaders get things done.
Leaders often don't know the extent of a challenge in advance.
Leadership is doing what it takes.
Survival is the priority in any company. Leaders know that only companies who live to fight another day have a chance of future success. They ensure their business is soundly managed - including healthy cash flow policies, ready to withstand future challenges. Leaders know that the road to success often has major hurdles - they learn how to fall and bounce back. Learning from mistakes is the way that Leaders succeed after failure.
Leadership is a two-sided coin; you must ask yourself whether you are prepared to accept both sides - the benefits and the sacrifices. You often have to make personal decisions, which may impact your private life. Surrounding yourself with a good team, enabling wise advisors and mentors and having a supportive family will help you enormously - but nothing prepares you for Leadership more than doing what you know needs to be done.
Do not confuse Leadership with determination; you may be determined and still underachieving. Leaders go beyond resolution and step into the world of doing whatever it takes. You must have the capability and persistence to influence people and events and be ready to show people that your solution is worth all their hard work. Remember Leaders, gain their success through others, make sure they are involved in your plans, and embrace your vision.
Leadership is about practising wisdom gained from actual experiences. So, Leadership is, first and foremost, a functional art; it's not just about doing what you would like to do; it's about actually thinking through what you visualise, executing it well and delivering a result better than you promised!
So, if you think you have what it takes to become a Leader, get ready to be tested, all day, every day—becoming obsessed with your markets, spending most of your time developing your strategy, and striving to delight your customers.
Leaders must have the ability to transmit their vision clearly and be understood.
Only the converted will determine if you are indeed their Leader.
When someone with integrity openly shares their experience and wisdom, builds trust, encourages people, and can convert them into embracing their vision - a Leader is born!
Once a Leader
- Always a Leader.
Tips on Transformation
Tough? That's Normal!
Thrive on Challenges
Failure? Bounce Back!
Focus & Listen - Then Do!
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